nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2005‒07‒25
thirteen papers chosen by
Tono Sanchez
Universitat de Valencia

  1. Monetary transmission mechanism in Estonia - some theorethical considerations and stylized aspects By Raoul Lättemäe
  2. Putting a Smiley Face on the Dragon: Wal-Mart as Catalyst to U.S.-China Trade By Emek Basker; Pham Hoang Van
  3. Lending cycles in Estonia By Märten Kress
  4. Reservation wages in Estonia By Marit Hinnosaar
  5. Hooverism, Hyperstabilisation or Halfway-House? Describing Fiscal Policy in Central and Eastern European EU Members By Rasmus Kattai; John Lewis
  6. The monetary sector under a currency board arrangement : specification and estimation of a model with Estonian data By Rasmus Pikkani
  7. Liquidity Constrains and Ricardian Equivalence in Estonia By Hannes Kaadu; Lenno Uusküla
  8. Trade Policy Reforms and the Structure of Protection in Vietnam By Prema-chandra Athukorala
  9. Estonian Inflation Model By Urmas Sepp; Andres Vesilind; Ülo Kaasik
  10. The impact of minimum wage on the labour market in Estonia: an empirical analysis By Marit Hinnosaar; Tairi Rõõm
  11. The importance of the bank-lending channel in Estonia: evidence from micro-economic data By Reimo Juks
  12. Exchange rate pass-through to Estonian prices By Aurelijus Dabušinskas
  13. The Core of a Macro-economic Model for Estonia By Olivier Basdevant; Ülo Kaasik

  1. By: Raoul Lättemäe
    Abstract: The monetary system in Estonia is based on the currency board arrangement. The strong commitments and rule-based features of currency board imply that there is no active monetary policy in Estonia - all necessarily monetary adjustments are left to the market forces. Under fixed exchange rate and free capital mobility Estonian monetary conditions are therefore closely linked with monetary policy in Europe - in addition to the changes in Estonian risk-premium, interest rate developments in Europe can directly influence Estonian interest rates. Those monetary signals transmit widely into Estonian financial sector and ultimately into Estonian real sector through various channels. Some theoretical and intuitive aspects that can affect this process in Estonia have gained special attention in this paper.
  2. By: Emek Basker (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Pham Hoang Van (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: Retail chains and imports from developing countries have grown sharply over the past 25 years. Wal-Mart’s chain, which currently accounts for 10% of U.S. imports from China, grew 10-fold and its sales 90-fold over this period, while U.S. imports from China increased 30-fold. We relate these trends using a model in which scale economies in retail interact with scale economies in the import process. Combined, these scale economies amplify the effects of technological change and trade liberalization. Falling trade barriers increase imports not only through direct reduction of input costs but also through an expanded chain and higher investment in technology. This mechanism can explain why a surge in U.S. imports followed relatively modest tariff declines and why Wal-Mart abandoned its “Buy American” campaign in the 1990s. Also consistent with these facts, we show that tariff reductions have a greater effect the more advanced the retailer’s technology. The model has implications for the pace of the product cycle and sheds light on the recent apparent acceleration in foreign outsourcing.
    Keywords: Wal-Mart, Trade, Increasing Returns
    JEL: L11 L81 F12
    Date: 2005–07–20
  3. By: Märten Kress
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to examine possible cyclical patterns in the lending behavior of Estonian commercial banks. Furthermore, the degree of cycle synchronization between the business cycle and the credit cycle and how much one cycle is behind the other in the case of Estonia is of particular interest. The paper uses data from between January 1994 and February 2004 to identify the Estonian business and credit cycles and compare their features. A Markov regime-switching technique was used in dating both business and credit cycles. Variables of interest in terms of the credit cycle include the total amount of loans provided by commercial banks, household loans, corporate loans, and the share of overdue loans in the total portfolio. Both, monthly and quarterly data was utilized to double-check the results and the business cycle was dated using the Industrial Production Index (IPI) and GDP, respectively. The share of overdue loans in the total portfolio appeared to be counter-cyclical as expected. Changes in the IPI seemed to cause changes in corporate loans with a two-quarter lag on average. Asymmetries between the credit and business cycles were found for Estonia. That is, it takes approximately five months from the beginning of an economic slowdown before corporate loans move into a contraction regime. However, it takes approximately eight months for corporate loans to recover their expansionary growth rate. Changes in household loans seemed to precede changes in economic activity by approximately one quarter.
  4. By: Marit Hinnosaar
    Abstract: This paper analyses the factors determining reservation wages in Estonia, and estimates the influence of the reservation wage on unemployment duration. According to estimations there is no statistically significant effect of unemployment benefit and social assistance on the reservation wage in Estonia. While evidence was found, that the higher the reservation wage, the lower the probability of finding a job, if all other things are equal. It was also found that the eligibility of unemployment benefit or social assistance increases the duration of the unemployment period, which indicates the lower offer arrival rate in the case of unemployed receiving assistance, which might be caused by a lower search intensity.
  5. By: Rasmus Kattai; John Lewis
    Abstract: This paper develops a simple framework for describing fiscal policy where policymakers attempt to minimise deviations in output and budget balance from target values. Optimal policy is given by minimising a quadratic loss function subject to a linear structure of the economy. This policy can be viewed as weighted average of two polar cases - the case where the budget deficit adjusts to eliminate any deviations from potential output (hyperstabilisation), and the case where taxes and spending are determined exclusively by some budgetary goal (hooverism). We find some evidence of stabilisation for Poland, Latvia and Estonia. There is no evidence for the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, suggesting that fiscal policy was being used for other objectives. The best fit is for Estonia, suggesting that a strict fiscal policy environment may not be incompatible with stabilising fiscal policy.
    Keywords: Fiscal Policy, Fiscal Policy Rules, New EU Member States
    JEL: E61 E62
  6. By: Rasmus Pikkani
    Abstract: Modelling work on Estonian data indicates that external financing of the private sector has strong impact on domestic demand, which implies that valuable insights may be gained in this case from understanding the behavioural relationships in the monetary sector. The current paper provides a theoretical analysis of the monetary sector under a currency board regime and applies specification tests to Estonian data. As a final product, empirical equations for average lending rate, loans provided to the private sector and money demand are estimated. While estimations herein use monthly data, quarterly modifications of the model will be inserted into Eesti Pank\'s quarterly macromodel in the future.
  7. By: Hannes Kaadu; Lenno Uusküla
    Abstract: This paper aims to find evidence of the influence of government deficit on private consumption in Estonia. The data only shows some support for Ricardian equivalence. Two approaches were used in the empirical tests. The Haque and Montiel (1989) equation of consumption was estimated using an instrumental variables technique. The Aschauer (1985) system of equations was estimated with the full information maximum likelihood method. Formal tests based on macro data could neither reject nor confirm the existence of liquidity constraints or Ricardian equivalence. There remains a lot of room for testing both of these hypotheses in Estonia. Further efforts to test liquidity constraints should concentrate on using micro data.
    Keywords: Ricardian equivalence, liquidity constraints, Estonia
    JEL: E21 E62 H62
  8. By: Prema-chandra Athukorala
    Abstract: This paper examines the current state of the trade policy regime in Vietnam against the backdrop of market-oriented policy reforms undertaken over the past one-and-a-half decades. The core of the paper is an in-depth analysis of the structure of protection, focussing on both incentives for import-competing production the bias in the incentive structure against export production compared to import-competing production. It is found that, despite notable reform efforts, the structure of protection in Vietnam is still out of line with that of the major trading nations in the region, in terms of the level and the inter-industry dispersion of nominal and effective protection rates. There is a clear ani-export bias in the incentive structure, even though the degree of the bias has considerably declined over the years. There is no evidence to justify the existing protection structure on grounds of infant industry protection or employment generation.
    Keywords: Length (pages): 45
    Date: 2005–04
  9. By: Urmas Sepp; Andres Vesilind; Ülo Kaasik
    Abstract: The objective of model-building was an inflation model suitable for prognosis as well as for simulation. The model serves two purposes. First of all, it is a tool for analysing inflation. Secondly, it is part of the model of Estonian economy, which completes the adjustment loop of the macromodel. The theoretical background of the inflation model derives from four basic features of Estonian economy. Namely, Estonia is: a small and open economy, a transitional economy, economy under currency board arrangement and a market economy. When estimating the model, inflation was decomposed into a) underlying inflation which is a long-run process and b) inflation deviations from the equilibrium which are caused by the short-run impact of inflation factors. The underlying inflation, which reflects the convergence, is determined as a trend. The latter was specified as a time function, ARMA process, moving average and HP filter, whereas the best result was obtained with time function. According to modelling output the short run dynamics of the inflation are determined by three main factors - demand pressure reflected by the GDP gap, exchange rate of the US dollar (which is proxy for foreign prices), and administrative action for correcting regulated prices. The adequacy of the model has been tested on the basis of ex post and ex ante prognosis. The model provided acceptable results in the simulation of endogenous and exogenous shocks
  10. By: Marit Hinnosaar; Tairi Rõõm
    Abstract: In Estonia, as in several other EU acceding countries, minimum wage has been on an upward trend and in the coming years it will expectedly be raised faster than the average wage. Despite its rapid increase, the impact of the minimum wage on Estonian labour market has not been analysed. The current paper aims to fill this gap. We estimate the effect of the minimum wage on employment and wages in Estonia during the period of 1995-2000, using micro-data from Estonian Labour Force Surveys. The estimation results indicate that a minimum wage increase leads to employment reduction for the group of workers who are directly affected by this change, ie those whose wages have to be raised as a result. Additional negative effect of raising the minimum wage is that the rate of compliance with this regulation diminishes as a result, thereby enlarging the share of workers whose salaries remain below the legally set minimum.
  11. By: Reimo Juks
    Abstract: The paper studies the importance of the bank-lending channel in Estonia. The results from the descriptive evidence suggest that there is a significant share of bank dependent borrowers in Estonia, but the impact of a monetary policy shock on the loan supply of banks seems to be ambiguous. The empirical analysis provides evidence in favour of the bank-lending channel in Estonia. First, well-capitalized banks seem to experience a smaller outflow of deposits after a monetary contraction. Second, the liquidity position of banks seems to be an important determinant of the loan supply suggesting that more liquid banks are able to maintain their loan portfolios, while less liquid banks must reduce their loan supply after a monetary policy contraction. This finding is consistent with the evidence for the euro area, where liquidity is also the most important determinant of the loan supply.
    Keywords: bank lending channel; monetary policy transmission
    JEL: E52 G21 G32 C33
  12. By: Aurelijus Dabušinskas
    Abstract: The objective of the paper is to further our understanding of the relationship between changes in the nominal exchange rate and prices in a small open economy. The paper uses data from 1995 Q1-2003 Q1 for Estonia to investigate the exchange rate pass-through to import, producer and consumer prices, both total and disaggregated. Although the currency board arrangement eliminates exchange rate fluctuations from a very significant share of the Estonian effective currency basket, the remaining variation in the nominal exchange rate can be regarded as exogenous (determined by the anchor currency), a useful feature when estimating the pass-through. In the case of import unit values, the pass-through tends to be statistically significant for textiles and commodity-type goods, such as petroleum, non-metal mineral products and basic metals. In the case of producer prices, the long-run pass-through is evident in textiles and chemical products. Point estimates of the long-run pass-through to aggregate import and producer prices fall between 40 and 50%, though the precision of these estimates is low. In contrast, no significant exchange rate pass-through is estimated to consumer prices, measured by total CPI or its tradable component.
    Date: 2003–12–20
  13. By: Olivier Basdevant; Ülo Kaasik
    Abstract: This article presents a macro-econometric model for Estonia currently developed at the Bank of Estonia. It is based on a basic macro-economic framework that integrates both supply and demand side components. With this model we analyse the policy that should be implemented to maintain sustainable growth. The main emphasis is on the need to continue tough fiscal policy in order to maintain public deficit, as well as to avoid inflationary pressures and keep Estonia attractive to foreign investors.

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